Are You Considering Working From Home?
The Benefits Of Working From Home
...And why working from home is better than working at the office.
One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that you can choose your own clocking on/off times. Ok, for some of you with customers, colleagues in other places or clients, you may have to work similar times to them but for most, choosing your own times means you can work hours to suit you and your family best, not when the office is open and the boss expects you through the door.
Not having to commute to work. After being able to work your own hours, this is for many the second best aspect of working from home. Not only will this save money on fares or fuel, but can also mean lower car insurance premiums as you will be doing less annual mileage. Commuting can be stressful as well. Being stuck in traffic, waiting for delayed public transport, especially when the weather is bad or having to share a cramped carriage. There are significant health benefits not having to expose yourself to this daily stress.
These are probably the two best assests of working from home, but here a some other benefits to having your home as your workplace:
- Get on with your office manager. You are your own immediate boss, so you should be able to get along.
- No politics. The joy of being free from all the gossip, rumors, back stabbing and one-upmanship. Quite often the worst part of working at the office is not the job itself but the bad politics within the company.
- Being able to make personal phone calls at quieter times. Most people will have experienced the pain of arriving home and then trying to get through to particular company to discuss a utility bill or cancel an order. Lunch times and evenings are the busy times as everyone else is also trying to get through during their lunch break or when they get home from work.
- The grocery run. Along the same line; being able to pop out to do the supermarket shopping when the crowds are less.
- Working from home means you can easily work your day around dropping the children off and collecting from school. It can also mean money saved by not having to pay for childcare during school holidays.
- Stick to a better diet. The whole kitchen is at your disposal. No having to pack a lunch, rely on take-away lunches or buy canteen food. It can mean a healthier diet and cheaper too. The evening dinner can also be prepared during the day, not after commuting home after a hard day at the office.
- You can do some stretches/ yoga without other staff looking at you strangely. Your colleagues might think you’re a bit odd if you get yourself in the downward facing dog position in the middle of the office floor, but sometimes a good stretch can be just the thing after a stint in front of the computer.
- Don’t have to buy/wear work clothes. This can save a lot of money, not having to buy clothes you wouldn’t necessarily want to own. You can choose clothes that you like and which are comfortable, not that give the ‘right’ impression.
- No annoying colleagues. The pleasure of your own company, without having to tolerate the different characters and behaviors of people you would never, given the choice, consider mixing with.
So you've taken the step to working from home. It won't take long to realise it may not be totally the utopia you thought it would be when you were still slaving away at the office. What it takes is a little organisation, planning, understanding the different requirements to working at home rather than in at the office, and a diiferent approach to how you work.
5 Steps To Working From Home More Effectively
1. Comfort. Use a chair that is supportive, or maybe get comfortable sunk in a bean bag with a laptop resting on your legs, if you find that is your optimum working position. Work with what is best for you. You won’t then be distracted from concentrating on your work due to being uncomfortable.
2. Environment. Have a suitable working environment, away from distractions, allowing you to focus on your work. It's difficult to concentrate on your work while around you dinner is being prepared, or others are watching TV or listening to loud music. If you need peace and quiet, find a place furthest from unwanted distractions and make it clear when you shouldn't be disturbed. It will also help you define a separation between your work and home life, preventing work from encroaching into your free time and vice versa.
3. Work at times of the day that suits you. You know when you perform at your best. If you are a morning person, don't leave it till later in the day to commence work when you brain is shutting down. Plan other activities that need doing at times when you are at your least productive. Working from home allows you to plan your day around other commitments that might not be possible in employed work so it makes sense to take full benefit from it.
4. Get outside and take breaks for exercise and food. Being cooped up indoors can make you feel sluggish. You may benefit from recharging your batteries by taking one or two walks in the day, or break up the day by going to a cafe or gallery and continue working there, if you find the surroundings are stimulating for your writing. Eating regularly and avoiding sugary foods helps to keep your mind focused and your blood sugar levels stable, as it's difficult to concentrate when hungry.
5. Keep the social networking in check. It can be very isolating working from home and sites like Twitter and Facebook are a great way to interact with others while at home. In moderation it can help give your brain a breather but put a limit to the amount of time spent on these sites. It's easy to spend hours tweeting and chatting on forums, so just keep checks on it so it doesn't take the place of time that should be spent working.
Working from home
Working from home has many benefits and can be a much better way of making a living compared to working at the office. It requires a new approach to work and a good dose of self descipline, but can be a rewarding a worthwhile move.